Hollywood superstar and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday night took part in a public Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony at the feet of the Eiffel Tower, for the first night of the holiday.
Schwarzenegger, who is in Paris to take part in the international Climate Change Conference and advocate for renewable energy, said he was invited to the annual lighting of the 30-foot-tall menorah, which is organized by Chabad-Lubavitch.
The 68-year-old bodybuilder, actor, politician and staunch supporter of Israel told the crowd of roughly 6,000 people that his response to being invited was to say: “finally! Finally I’m getting invited again to go to a menorah lighting.”
He explained that “when I was governor of the state of California, every year at the capital in Sacramento…the day after the Christmas tree lighting we also did the menorah lighting.”
“The menorah to me means light. And it is very important that light prevails over darkness. And that good prevails over evil. And I stand here with you to make sure – and I know that if we’re together shoulder to shoulder – that we will prevail, and good will prevail over evil,” he said.
“So now, let’s stop the talking and get into some action!,” Schwarzenegger concluded, after which Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia lit the first candle, and then the actor joined the crowd in dancing.
Schwarzenegger uploaded a photo of himself at the lighting to his Twitter account, with the message: “Happy Hanukkah from Paris! Light will always overcome darkness.”
The former governor spent his first day in Paris on Saturday visiting the memorials to the 130 victims murdered in Islamic State (ISIS) attacks that took place on November 13, and also met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and French lawmakers at France’s National Assembly to discuss environmental issues.